Home > Canada, David Amos, Eileen Wingard, France, Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal > TICO programs continue to innovate

TICO programs continue to innovate

By Eileen Wingard

Eileen Wingard

SAN DIEGO–One of the greatest musical joys is listening to fine chamber music in the intimate setting of a private home. The living room of Lee and David Amos’ lovely Alvarado Estate provided just such a setting for a recital by violinist Jacques Israelievitch and pianist Kanae Matsumoto.
Some forty guests, including patrons and musicians of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra (TICO), attended the May 23 recital benefiting the orchestra. The audience listened to sonatas by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Pierne, Maurice Ravel and the Baal Shem Suite by Ernest Bloch. 
    
The Ravel Sonata was particularly impressive. The second movement, Blues: Moderato had just the right feel of jazzy improvisation, while the final Perpetuum Mobile: Allegro accelerated to an exciting climax.
    
The Pierne, a seldom-heard favorite of the violinist, received a sympathetic reading, and the Baal Shem Suite, especially the Nigun, was projected with dramatic boldness.
    
The opening work, Debussy’s Sonata, the last composition by the composer, was actually taught to the artist by the violinist who debuted the work with the composer himself.
    
Israelievitch’s introductory comments about each selection created a relaxed informality to the afternoon, and delicious refreshments served afterwards, allowed the guests to mingle with the artists.
    
The high level of artistry confirmed Israelievitch’s reputation, named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished contribution to the performing arts in Canada. A French native who graduated from the Paris Conservatory at sixteen, Israelievitch served as concertmaster of the Toranto Symphony Orchestra for two decades. Before that, he held posts as concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Currently, the internationally renowned violinist is chair of strings at the Chautauqua Institute and a faculty member at York University in Toronto. 

Pianist Kanae Matsumoto is on the faculty of UCLA. A native of Japan, she earned her Masters and Doctoral degrees at UCLA. Her  fine accompaniments enhanced the performance.
    
Sixteen days after the benefit recital, TICO gave a concert at Tifereth Israel Synagogue. The ambitious program included Brahms’ Third Symphony, Brahms’ Academic Overture and Arnold Rosner’s world premiere of “From the Diaries of Adam Czerniakow” for narrator and orchestra.
    
The viola soloist needed to be replaced, the concertmaster was indisposed, a first violinist was delivering a baby, and Rabbi Rosenthal was absent from the second violin section. TICO conductor David Amos had more than his usual share of personnel problems. However, the show did go on.
    
With an impressive narrator , celebrated San Diego actor Jonathan Dunn-Rankin, Arnold Rossner’s  work  left a deep impact. The chillingly tragic narration had fitting music, opening with foreboding sounds from the trombone and bassoon.
    
It was apparent that the orchestra was well rehearsed for the Rosner premiere and the musicians performed with dedication and understanding.
    
The Brahms Symphony fared less well, especially the first movement. The Tragic Overture, however, had much to be admired, especially in the woodwinds. With only two rehearsals, the TICO forces did a remarkable job.
    
July 11, TICO will perform its annual Pops program at Allied Gardens Recreation Center Park. Last year, 1500 attended, picnicking on the lawn to listen to the 7:00 pm concert. This year ‘s program will include music by Sousa and scores from Harry Potter and The Sound of Music.

*
Music columnist Wingard is a retired violinist of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra

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